Friday, February 18, 2011

Putting those left-over Panera cups to good frugal use - winter sowing. Happy thoughts of spring.
Good wishes! Eileen

Kirk turns 7!

Kirk enjoying his "birthday breakfast waffle" this morning. He's got to be the sweetest kid on the planet. He enjoyed an unexpected day home yesterday as the teachers had a walk-out for union contract issues. He was very worried they'd be on strike for his birthday and he wouldn't get to bring in his treats;-).
Greg is in NY learning about licensing issues at a conference. We're quite far from anything like that, but he wanted to get the lay of the land so to speak. Sometimes it all seems so impossibly hard and far away, but step by step I keep reminding myself.
I am applying for a one week summer writing course here in Madison that I've heard great things about. You submit 20 pages of the novel and a one page summary and have to get okayed by three professors, so wish me luck.
Happy days all around.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Scary sugar stats

I went to a "tame your sweet tooth" seminar at the local school and it was an eye opener. First, she showed us teaspoonful by teaspoonful, how much sugar was in a 20 ounce Pepsi (one of my favorites) and YIKES!

Then she went through additional sugar facts. Here are a few excerpts from the handouts.
1. Sugar can suppress the immune system and destroy germ killing ability for up to five hours after ingesting (she didn't quote the amount here).

2. Sugar contributes to weight issues because when you have excess insulin in your blood, cells can't release their fat into the bloodstream.

3. High insulin levels can decrease the body's ability to absorb nutrients from other foods.

4. Cravings for sugar are often caused by a lack of water.

5. If you chew your food 25 times per bite you will reduce your cravings for sugar because you will be releasing natural sugars in the healthier foods you eat.

6. Cinnamon is a blood sugar stabilizer and will lend a sweet flavor to your foods.

7. The chemicals in diet foods are just plain scary!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Happy Superbowl Sunday!

We welcomed superbowl sunday by making that wonderful vegan chili that Vermont Cottage blog posted - YUM!! Then made two other recipes from Fat Free Vegan website, so we are well stocked with vegan meals for the week. I saw the vegan challenge on Oprah and thought we'd try it for a week. Super healthy, super frugal food!
Kirk and Kai are back to swim lessons for the winter - not cheap, but a lifelong skill.
At church the first graders read the petitions at church today - Kirk was so proud. They are working on a donkey project, where they work to earn money to send to Ghana for women to use donkeys in the fields for planting. I have mixed feelings - certainly wanting to help the women, but the donkeys don't look really happy in the pictures. Then free donuts after church to celebrate the kids' good work. I go to a stop eating so much sugar $11 community class on Wednesday night - so this was my last big sugar kick - delicious. Only Greg was strong enough to abstain;-)

Friday, February 4, 2011

The King's Speech

Just got back from seeing this movie. Loved, loved, loved it. Definitely talks to the will of some special people to "do the right thing" and overcome adversity.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Blizzard Conditions - Welcome February;-)

We are under blizzard conditions with up to 12 inches expected over the next 24 hours or so. My neighbor and I braved it for our evening walk - and kind of enjoyed the other-worldliness of it all. Coming into my warm foyer, this picture of my grandpa as an infant made me think how tough our grandparents/great-grandparents were, toughing out these conditions without central heating or indoor plumbing!